18 May 2018

6 Tips On How To Stay Productive Whilst Working From Home

Tips How To Stay Productive When Working From Home, Dalry Rose Blog, Hampshire bloggers

For most business start ups their spare bedroom, garage, or shed will eventually become a home office studio. The moment I was serious about going freelance and setting up my own business, I set up my space - I need to have a location where I can lock myself away to work on client projects, keep inspiring material, grow my portfolio, and have inspiration boards.

In my home studio I keep all my client materials, books for inspiration when I have my breaks, and blogging samples from brands I'm currently working with. I have to admit I get very excited when I have a full rail of clothing to style and photograph for a campaign!

I would say I spend 50/50 of my time with clients and on location for projects like photoshoots; and in my home office. There needs to be a certain discipline when working from home as the distraction factor is high: my dog makes a cute face at me and wants to cuddle; I get carried away with making a quick lunch that turns in to a full on meal; a friend gives me a call and I'm stuck on the phone; or then there's TV. I mean that's a creativity black hole!

Tips How To Stay Productive When Working From Home, Dalry Rose Blog, Hampshire bloggers
Tips How To Stay Productive When Working From Home, Dalry Rose Blog, Hampshire bloggers

So how do I keep my focus when working from home? After two years of everyday practice, here are my top tips to stay productive whilst working from home:

1. Have a routine. It's so important to start work at a certain time and also have a time when you want to finish. Usually I tend to work 9-5 because that suits my clients too - that means I'm at my desk by 9am and closing the laptop at 5pm. If you don't set yourself these schedules you'll find you sleep until 10am and then end up working until midnight - you need to be strict with yourself.

2. Take breaks. You need to take regular breaks to allow your mind and eyes to rest - make a cup of coffee or tea, have a snack, take the dog out for a quick run around the block. And remember to take a lunch break - did you know in France lunches can take anywhere between 1-2 hours? It's an excuse to eat healthy - no more grab and run sandwiches because you don't have time. You do.

3. No TV. Honestly, this was hard to give up because I like background noise but having the TV on just kills your creativity and flow. Instead plug in your Spotify or listen to a favourite podcast - this way when you're in the zone, you'll be focussed on the projects not on what disaster Sheila is cooking on Come Dine With Me.

Tips How To Stay Productive When Working From Home, Dalry Rose Blog, Hampshire bloggers
Tips How To Stay Productive When Working From Home, Dalry Rose Blog, Hampshire bloggers

4. Pick up the phone to talk about projects. So many people have a phone phobia because we're way too comfortable with e-mails, but sometimes you need a quick answer from a client so just pick up that phone and have a chat. You will be able to finish your projects quicker, and keep in regular contact with clients.

5. Remember this time is for work, not social. A lot of people assume that because you work from home, you don't actually do anything. So they drop by at 2pm for a coffee, or tempt you into going our for the day somewhere, or ask you to look after their kids/dogs. This wouldn't happen if you worked in an office, so learn the simple word: 'No'. There was a week when my people felt particularly sociable and I had a lot of work - but I didn't want to be rude so I ended up taking the social calls and then working until 1am. By the end of that week I was so stressed, TV commercials were making me cry. That's when I decided I wasn't the rude person saying 'No, I can't do that because I'm working.' but it's rude for people to assume I'm constantly available because I work from home.

6. Turn your personal phone off or put it away in a different room. On the same topic as above, personal phones can be a distraction when working: texts, calls, social media... If you find yourself looking at your phone all the time and distracting yourself, put it away in a different room and check on it during your breaks.

It takes a little while but once you know how you work best at home, stick to that routine. It's all about keeping the creative flow going, with minimal distractions. Saying that, we all have days when there's little creativity in our minds during daytime and we flare up at night time - that's OK too. Listen to your mind and your body, it knows best.

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*Some of the items worn in this post have been gifted by SheIn for collaboration purposes.

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